Our Instructors

Our teachers, all health professionals and parents, add their extensive training and reading on subjects related to pregnancy, birth and parenting to their personal experience. All instructors are Certified Childbirth Educators either with Vancouver Community College or ICEA, the International Childbirth Education Association. All have a love and passion for the childbearing year.

 

Aleksandra Henderson, CBE

President, Instructor

Aleksandra HendersonThe miracle of birth has made an everlasting impact on Aleksandra’s life and for this simple reason she chose to become a doula and prenatal class instructor. Her aim is to make birth an experience rather than a process.

A mother of three, she has been a doula since 1996 and in that time has attended over seventy births. In 1998 she finished her training as a Childbirth Educator through Vancouver Community College and has been teaching for Lower Mainland Childbearing since then.

She currently teaches all of Childbearing’s weekend workshops out of her home, as well as taking on the occasional evening series and the training of new teachers. Her enthusiasm for birth is contagious, and she receives rave reviews from her prenatal class participants and doula clients alike.

 


 

Stephanie Ondrack, MA, CBE, CD (Dona)

Registrar, Instructor, Newsletter Editor

Stephanie OndrackStephanie’s interest in birth began with the birth of her own first child in 2001. With an academic background in English Literature and Women’s Studies, Stephanie attained certification as a Birth Doula and as a Childbirth Educator through Douglas College in 2002. She has been pursuing the topic with passion ever since, attending conferences, reading journals, and constantly upgrading her knowledge.

Stephanie is honoured to cross paths with so many families at such a pivotal juncture in their lives. As the mother of three children, she is personally familiar with the unpredictable nature of pregnancy, birth, and parenthood. Her goal is to help empower parents to make their own best choices according to their own circumstances and beliefs, and to help promote the best possible experience for the new baby within that context. She believes that the birth of a baby can be a joyful and transcending experience for the whole family, made better with accurate information and a sense of confidence. Stephanie’s enthusiasm and compassion shine through in her teaching, as does her genuine love of the topics.

 


 

Katy Thomson, CD (Dona)

Instructor

Katy ThompsonKaty has been involved with the wondrous world of birth for over ten years. Having worked, lived and volunteered with many families and various organizations while travelling around the world before settling in beautiful Vancouver to further establish her career as a Doula and Childbirth Educator.

Being away from her own family Katy really got to see and feel the importance of family and learn how other cultures embrace each other and support a new mother during the child bearing year. Drawing her closer to her Doula nature Katy has been privileged to witness and participate in births within different cultures, giving her a wealth of information on pregnancy and the birthing process. Katy is a mum of two, a Breastfeeding Counselor, as well as a certified Birth and Postpartum Doula, who is always continuing her education and working towards a lactation consultant certification.

 


 

Melina Auerbach, BA, MPH

Instructor

Melina AuerbachMelina’s passion is to help new parents have a smooth transition to parenthood whether it is to welcome a first child or a sixth! Ever since the birth of her son in 2003, Melina has been finding ways to support new mothers with breastfeeding information and practical advice. She was a breastfeeding counselor in the Netherlands, where both her children were born, and has been a post partum doula since

2008. Melina keeps up to date with current research and always seeks to expand her knowledge base and training. With a background in social anthropology and community health, Melina has lived and worked in Arctic Quebec, rural India, the Netherlands and Vancouver. Melina is thrilled to be a part of the Childbearing Team.

 


 

Jasmine Cairo, CBE

Instructor

Jasmine CairoAfter the empowering home births of her two sons, Jasmine fell deeply in love with anything to do with birth and babies. She is honoured to be able to support families through their birth experiences as a birth doula, breastfeeding counselor, and now as a childbirth educator for the childbearing society.

 

 

 


 

Shahrzad Tayebi, B.Sc. in Midwifery, IBCLC

Instructor

Shahrzad TayebiShahrzad, a mother of two, was a registered midwife in Iran for 18 years. They moved to Canada in 2009. Searching for her passion, she found the Childbearing Society.

Shahzad is also a certified doula who loves attending births and helping mothers and families in any way she can. In 2013, Shahrzad added the title of International Board Certified Lactation Consultant to her credentials. Her goal and philosophy in offering prenatal education, doula services and breastfeeding support, is to make birth and breastfeeding the most memorable experience in one’s life.

 


 

Molly Eitzen, CBE

Instructor

Molly EitzenWhile completing her undergraduate degree in Medical Anthropology, Molly discovered a passion for birth and midwifery. Molly completed her doula training in 2001, and then studied midwifery at Seattle Midwifery School.

Molly became pregnant shortly before completing school and realized she did not want to parent while on call. After taking her own prenatal and postpartum classes through Childbearing in 2005, she joined Childbearing as an instructor in 2008. She loves getting to connect with expectant couples and help them on their journey towards being parents. Having experienced a cesarean as well as two home births after cesarean, Molly has a special interest in helping clients who have experienced a cesarean and VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) at our Refresher workshops.

 


 

Debra Woods, CBE

Instructor

Debra WoodsDebra Woods is a seasoned birth & postpartum doula who’s cared for more than 750 childbearing families. She has been practicing since 1989. She is also a certified childbirth educator and placenta encapsulation specialist.

Mother to one son, who was born at home, she is passionate about women becoming fully informed about birth in order to make the best decisions for themselves. She loves helping families with their newborns so they can experience a smooth adjustment into parenthood.

 


 

Diane Donaldson, RN, CBE

Past President

Diane DonaldsonDiane Donaldson has more than thirty years of experience as a childbirth educator within the lower mainland in a variety of hospital and community settings.

A nurse and mother of two, she co-founded Lower Mainland Childbearing in 1973 and the Childbirth Educators Certificate Programme at Vancouver Community College in 1985. She became the coordinator and instructor for the CBE Programme in 1989. In January 2001, the Childbirth Educators Programme moved to Douglas College where Diane continued as coordinator and instructor until March 2006 when it was phased out.

During the past fifteen years, Diane has written a variety of curricula and independent study modules for childbirth educators, nurses and perinatal outreach workers.

As a perinatal nurse she has maintained her clinical skills by working in the delivery suites and postpartum areas of St. Paul’s Hospital and at BC Women’s Hospital for the past twenty five years. She continues to work most often in the Single Room Maternity Care area at BC Women’s.

She has presented workshops to childbirth educators and nurses in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Her commitment to childbearing families and their educators is a lifelong passion and finds her involved in many ways as an advocate for the highest quality perinatal experience for all involved.

 

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